SOME friendly sibling rivalry between Jacqueline and Anna Hudson is being directed to a worthy cause as each tries to raise the most money for the work of the Leukaemia Foundation.
The foundation is providing extensive support for the Hudson family as Jacqueline and Anna’s father Noel battles blood cancer at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane.
Jacqueline said the support the family had received, both physically and emotionally, had been “unbelievable”.
The sisters divide each week between themselves to be on hand for their father.
Now based in Toowoomba with her two daughters, Jacqueline works Mondays, Tuesdays and every second Wednesday before decamping to Brisbane where 13-year-old Courtney attends school in the hospital. Courtney is also involved in extracurricular activities organised by foundation workers.
Anna’s work at Tenterfield’s Roads and Maritime Services office is also now part-time, and she is able to be with her father at the beginning of each week. The family shares a two-bedroom, fully self-contained unit at Coopers Plains provided by the foundation.
After suffering a bout of pneumonia, Noel’s doctors have determined he is now well enough to undergo what is expected to be the last of six rounds of treatment. Jacqueline said the three-week process involved one week of chemotherapy followed by a week where he “bottoms out” and a week of recovery.
Following this round of treatment Noel will undergo PET (positron emission tomography) scans and tests on his bone marrow to determine if the procedure has been successful. A positive outcome will pave the way for him to return to Toowoomba, and eventually home to Tenterfield.
“He has a particularly unusual type of lymphoma and this is his one chance to fix it, so we’re crossing our fingers,” Jacqueline said.
Campdraft people and other members of the community have been a great help to Anna in looking after Noel’s Tenterfield home and cattle property. Jacqueline is hoping the whole Tenterfield community can get behind the Leukaemia Foundation’s on-line doorknock appeal to support an organisation which in turn supports people from this area battling the disease.
It’s a cause particularly close to Jacqueline’s heart, as the foundation has not only been there for the Hudsons but Noel’s sister had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Jacqueline lost a nine-year-old niece to the disease.
“Blood cancers are more prevalent than people think,” she said.
To donate, visit www.doorknock.net.au/jacqueline_hudson or www.doorknock.net.au/anna_hudson. The fundraiser closes on Friday.